Audi Moon Mission Reaches Next Phase
When we write about cars here at The News Wheel, we might use inspirational phrases like “reaching for the stars” or “shooting for the Moon”. Well, when it comes to Audi, it really is shooting for the Moon with its Audi Lunar quattro and German partners Part Time Scientists, and we could see this rover in action as soon as next year.
The X Prize Foundation, funded by tech giant Google, launched a challenge years ago to award the first private team (sorry, NASA, you cannot play) to reach the Moon with a $20 million prize. Not only do the teams have to reach the Moon, an already daunting task, the vehicles must also drive 500 meters and send HD images to Earth. You might think that this sounds like a breeze, but many things, like the big change in temperature between day and night, thanks to a lack of atmosphere, can make things as simple as a shadow a death trap for a rover.
Check out the video below to learn more about the things that go into consideration when engineering something to drive on a lunar surface.
Unfortunately, the Audi Lunar quattro was not selected to be one of the five finalists for the Lunar X Prize. To be fair, the Part Time Scientists said that their contract specified that they must launch a lunar rover by the end of 2018, and the Lunar X Prize competition finalists must launch by the end of 2017. The team’s leader, Robert Boehme, told the New York Times that it would be too risky to accelerate it. Audi is still committed to the Audi Lunar quattro rover, so we might see a set of Audi rings on the Moon in the near future.
News Source: The New York Times
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